Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Great Debate at Our House... about religion. I know this should have all been discussed and worked out PRIOR to marriage but we got hitched at a winery so it didn't. You would seriously think we're like polar opposites when it comes to this but we're really not. Hubs is Lutheran and I'm Methodist. We can't agree on a church to save our!!!

Hubs grew up Lutheran, went to school Lutheran, knows no other religion than Lutheran so he's 100% stubborn and will not even blink at the thought of learning something new. His family is Lutheran, his friends are Lutheran...everyone but his wife. His wife is Methodist. My big beef with Lutheran is that they don't let me take communion and the way they word it in their bulletin is very misleading but that's another story for another day. I believe that if you confess and repent of your sins then you are welcome to take communion. His church believes the same BUT you also have to believe the Lutheran religion to take communion. So every holiday, I sit all alone in the pew, waiting for everyone to come back so I can slide out or move my legs funny so that they can all sit back down. They do let me get ashes though so that's nice of them.

About a year ago, Matt and I "agreed," or so I thought, to find a church together that was "our" church that we could start attending and raise our children in. We found a church we both really liked last spring but then summer rolled around and he ended up working every weekend so we quit going. This fall rolled around and I was ready to start going again only for hubs to say, "Okay, I'll start going to church again but to MY church." I asked him what had changed his mind and he admitted that he just agreed to find "our" church to make me happy.

Needless to say, we didn't go in the fall. So now Matt has started wanting to go back to church but only at HIS church. He said he didn't feel it was fair for me to ask him to give up his religion. I don't remember ever asking that, I just asked that we find one together. But, at the same time, since he's refusing to budge on going to any church but his own, why should I have to give up mine? I know a little bit about his religion and there's that communion aspect that I don't agree with so why would I join his church when I don't agree with it? He told me I could go to my own church if I wanted too but I want to go to church WITH MY HUSBAND!!! I want US to find a church together!

I'm not 100% not budging from being Methodist as long as I find a church that I can agree their beliefs. FYI-I'm not knocking any religions here just stating that I have different beliefs. The great thing about America is that we have that right to pick what religion we belief in.

So anyways, this is the great debate around our house...happens every 2-3 months.


Jennelle said...

US, TOO!!!!!! I'm Catholic, and Matt is Presbyterian. We were married in my church, and it has been agreed that our kids will be raised Catholic. Matt even comes to church with me and wants to get involved in the church community. BUT HE WON'T JOIN THE CHURCH. Drives me up the wall!

On the extremely rare occasion that he wants to go to his church, we usually end up at 8AM mass at mine, and then his 10:15 service. Too much church in one day if you ask me. :)

The thing is, Matt was raised in his church, his parents were super active, but then he got older. Teens naturally rebel a little, and he stopped going regularly. Then, his parents dropped out to join a cult. True story. And now, his main connection to that church is his memories... I don't think that he has any grievances with his church, or with mine, he's just not a super religious person.

Sorry to write a novel, but you're definitely not the only one out there having this argument. :)

d.a.r. said...

Interesting!! I seriously find this stuff so fascinating. We are both Catholic, so the only religious talks we have are whether or not I can drag my hubby out of bed to go to church!

Good luck finding some middle ground that you are both happy with!

Meredith said...

J and I both grew up Lutheran--does Matt go to an LCMS church? LCMS Lutherans are more conservative and typically have "closed communion" tables {though I've never ever seen a pastor not distribute communion if someone came to the table}. On the other hand, a lot of ELCA Lutheran churches practice open communion, and anyone who has been baptized can partake. Maybe see if there's an ELCA Lutheran church nearby--that way Matt could still go to a Lutheran church, but you could participate as well?

Sarah said...

OK, so here we go.

I grew up Disciples of Christ because that is my dad's ordination and later became Episcopalian. That's another story. Anyway though, when DH and I met and got married, I identified myself as an Episcopal and he identified as Lutheran. He grew up Missouri Synod Lutheran. As PP mentioned, there are many types of Lutherans, and Missouri Synod had what they call "close" communion. It is open to all Missouri Synod Lutherans, but anyone else has to get special permission to take communion. This was soooo not ok with me, so DH and I began church hunting. He didn't like the Episcopal services because they felt too Catholic. I was absolutely unwilling to consider a church that did not have an open communion, so that ruled out the Missouri Synod churches. (We later found out that they don't believe in Evolution either.) DH felt very strongly that he did not believe in transubstantiation, so I had to prove to him that every protestant church we tried did not believe in that either. (He doesn't always trust my past education about these things.) What we found was that ELCA Lutherans, Episcopalians, and Methodists are actually very strongly linked. In fact, pastors from any of the three denominations can serve at any of the other churches. This meant that we began exploring Methodist churches, and where we eventually landed.

We originally attended Grace Methodist across from Forest Park, but the pastor who married us and we both loved was moved to another church. The new guy just wasn't working for me, so I began looking for a new church home. Now I am an active member at The Gathering Methodist. It is a young church with lots of families, and I love it there. If you want to check it out yourself some time, just let me know. We could go to church and grab a meal before or after. They have a Sunday evening service which works great for my schedule, so that's nice. Anyway, there is my very long story that should probably be a blog post of its own. :)

Randall @ Happy For This Moment said...

I can certainly understand how frustrating that would be. Nick always has and will more than likely always work on Sundays so if I'm going to church, it will be alone and to the place I pick.

So it is nice to just go where I like without having his opinion in the mix. For what it's worth, my mom and her husband go to two separate churches :)

Mrs. Fabulous said...

So.... that is my marriage. Just replace Lutheran with Catholic and Methodist with Baptist.

I guess all I can say is "You're not the only couple with this issue". Hope we all can find a balance.

Meredith said...

I don't totally agree with Sarah's statement regarding LCMS Lutherans and Evolution, but that's another story for another day...remember that you'll find a huge range of beliefs and practices even within the scope of LCMS Lutherans vs. ELCA Lutherans. J and I both grew up in (different) LCMS churches, and mine was WAY more "liberal" than his.

Also, just because someone says "This is what LCMS Lutherans believe" doesn't necessarily mean that those are endorsed beliefs or practices by the church as a whole--plenty of people *think* they know what a denomination believes, but it's really just what their church practiced, and isn't exactly in line with the denomination as a whole.

Here's a link regarding the differences between ELCA and LCMS:

Kevin and Katie said...

My advice . . . there are lots of happily married couples that attend different churches or one goes and not the other. I attended Kevins church for years before he would go on a non-easter or Christmas Sunday. He's gotten involved latley but that is totally his own choice which he made in his own time.
So. . . . find a church you are happy with and enjoy going to and worry about Matt dealing with what church he wants to go to later on. Find a place you are comfortable with because you need that now to find comfort in dealing with life and the challenges it brings. Every church is different whether it is the same denomination or not.
I do agree with you on the communion part as I think that anyone that confesses their sins should be able to take communion. Its each person's choice.

Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah said...

Sorry Alyssa, I just need to point Meredith to her own church's website regarding their belief in Evolution.

5. We teach that God has created heaven and earth, and that in the manner and in the space of time recorded in the Holy Scriptures, especially Gen. 1 and 2, namely, by His almighty creative word, and in six days. We reject every doctrine which denies or limits the work of creation as taught in Scripture. In our days it is denied or limited by those who assert, ostensibly in deference to science, that the world came into existence through a process of evolution; that is, that it has, in immense periods of time, developed more or less of itself. Since no man was present when it pleased God to create the world, we must look for a reliable account of creation to God's own record, found in God's own book, the Bible. We accept God's own record with full confidence and confess with Luther's Catechism: "I believe that God has made me and all creatures."

Regardless of individual beliefs (like Catholics who practice birth control,) the church's official stance is still that they believe in Creationism not Evolution. Evolution is not taught in LCMS schools, and that is just a fact. I apologize if the fact that I, a non-LCMS person, know this upsets people.

Angie said...

Girl you know Matt and I have the same problem! I'm Lutheran, he's catholic, it's retarded.

Cecilia said...

I grew up Catholic. Went to a Catholic school, the whole nine yards. My husband was baptized Catholic, but never once in his life attended a Catholic mass. I have tried a couple of Christian churches and they just don't feel right to me. The masses were enjoyable, but they started preaching about how Catholics think this and that and they are all wrong. Don't tell me who is right and who is wrong. Just tell me your message. In actuality, no one religion has it 100% right. I'm still trying to find the Church that fits me best. Good luck, Girl!!

Hilary Lane said...

Is he completely opposed to finding a church that's considered "inter-denominational"? My husband and I both grew up in separate churches that believe pretty much the same thing. They're big on getting REALLY into praise & worship, speaking in tongues, slaying in the spirit - you know, the types of churches you see on TV. And while we're fine with all that & it's what we believe, we ended up finding a church that meets in a movie theater that doesn't do any of that. And it isn't because they don't believe in all that stuff, they just don't do it. Which is nice. We used to be super uncomfortable being the only people in church not on our knees in worship, just because that's not our style. So now we've found a church that's based on: accept Jesus, go to heaven & everything else is to each his own. Good luck!

Stephany said...

Mmm...this is exactly why I'll have a conversation with my future hubby before we're married. (And I so don't mean for that to come out rude. There's no other way I could word it! Ugh...I should delete it. But I won't. Please don't hate me!)

Anyway, I have no advice. I'm sorry. That's such a tricky situation, especially when you don't feel comfortable at his church. I go to a Baptist church even though I'm not Baptist. I just love the music and the preaching, even if I don't fully agree with everything they believe in. (Nothing that important, just little things.) I'm just sorry you have to go through this.

Em Static said...

Man and I have slight differences in our core belief systems, but they don't get in the way for more than 15 minutes at a time.

I'm with the inter-denominational idea. Is he terribly opposed to it?

Amanda said...

Weighing in here because we went through this too, sort of. My hubby grew up Nazarene. His brother is a Nazarene preacher and his Mom refuses to go anywhere that's not Nazarene. My hubby experimented with a few churches in college (Methodist, Baptist). Now me? I drew up in Disciples of Christ/Christian Church. That was chosen by my parents bc they had a Baptist/Methodist marriage and wanted something different for their children.

Ok, so then Kelsey (hubby) and I got married and we needed a place to go. We tried a few churches but nothing really "took". It was more about the connections we made and our relationship with God more so than the beliefs. So we did try a non-denominational church when we lived in WV. After we moved to Florida (where there are lots of INTER-denominational churches), we found one and have been going ever since. It was impt. to us to have a place where we felt like God spoke to us through the sermon. I wanted a church that was inclusive and loving and encouraged us to live good lives as Christians and help those around us.

So I dont' think it's fair that he can give up his, but not fair for you either...AND it's important to have a solid front esp. with your children. So this is a real tough one...but maybe see if he can try out an inter denominational church.

Adie said...

I grew up LCMS Lutheran as well and they would NEVER turn away someone from communion. crazy. Have you tried making an appointment with the pastor? Just you. My husband grew up Southern Baptist and I grew up Lutheran and he was never comfortable in a Lutheran church but he would go and I tried a Baptist church but was not happy so we tried a few other things and found an RCA church and are very happy with it. Methodist and Lutheran is very close. My husband and I were married bu a Methodist chaplain and our girls baptisied by a Methodist chaplain. We just want to be a part of a church and united as parents under god. I wish Matt would budge a little. Good luck honey!!